Anyone like opera?

Hi,

Just wondering if anyone has an interest in opera.

Joshua

Aside from Handel's Messiah I think many operas have thematic problems. Romeo and Juliet, for example. It's a bad story all around. Suicide is a sin, not the solution for a broken heart, but Shakespeare wasn't interested in making that kind of a distinction. I can listen to opera but there's not much good thematic material out there, unfortunately. Even Rock operas like Tommy, Quadrophenia, or Jesus Christ Superstar all had thematic problems. I think Handel was really the only one(to my knowledge)who was able to successfully use the genre in a responsible way.

[quote="Theophilus777, post:2, topic:253297"]
Aside from Handel's Messiah I think many operas have thematic problems. Romeo and Juliet, for example. It's a bad story all around. Suicide is a sin, not the solution for a broken heart, but Shakespeare wasn't interested in making that kind of a distinction. I can listen to opera but there's not much good thematic material out there, unfortunately. Even Rock operas like Tommy, Quadrophenia, or Jesus Christ Superstar all had thematic problems. I think Handel was really the only one(to my knowledge)who was able to successfully use the genre in a responsible way.

[/quote]

The only operas I've really seen are Mozart's The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro and Beethoven's Fidelio. I've never seen any Rock Operas.

I've also seen another opera, but I can't remember what it was called.

The Magic Flute is my very favorite though. I have a DVD of a Glyndebourne performance of it.

[quote="Theophilus777, post:2, topic:253297"]
Aside from Handel's Messiah I think many operas have thematic problems. Romeo and Juliet, for example. It's a bad story all around. Suicide is a sin, not the solution for a broken heart, but Shakespeare wasn't interested in making that kind of a distinction. I can listen to opera but there's not much good thematic material out there, unfortunately. Even Rock operas like Tommy, Quadrophenia, or Jesus Christ Superstar all had thematic problems. I think Handel was really the only one(to my knowledge)who was able to successfully use the genre in a responsible way.

[/quote]

I don't think that Shakespeare was condoning suicide. He was basically saying, this is what happens when societies are corrupt. Everyone goes to hell. It was a tragedy, not a romance. Maybe some people try to portray it that way, but I think they are distorting Shakespeare's intention.

[quote="joshrp, post:4, topic:253297"]
I don't think that Shakespeare was condoning suicide. He was basically saying, this is what happens when societies are corrupt. Everyone goes to hell. It was a tragedy, not a romance. Maybe some people try to portray it that way, but I think they are distorting Shakespeare's intention.

[/quote]

I agree with you, but unfortunately when Romeo and Juliet are referenced it's usually the suicide that gets the spotlight. Consider the popular song "Don't Fear the Reaper," in the 70's. "...Romeo and Juliet....we can be like they are...come on baby don't fear the reaper," or worse yet, Death Cab for Cutie's "Into the Dark," which not only portrays suicide as something you do when you love somebody, but blatantly references the Catholic Church "as vicious as Roman Rule." The story itself is probably seriously misrepresented by most modern allusions to it, but how many people read(or understand) Shakespeare? I agree that most likely Shakespeare was not condoning suicide, but I can't say the same for most who quote him.

I love opera! The stories are often tragic, true. But if you look at the way the are put together it is facinating. And the music is beautiful and descriptive in itself. I have actually only seen 3 operas in person. The first two I saw were in the beautiful old elegant opera house in Berlin. (East Berlin then.) I think the atmosphere added to the enjoyment of the opera, just as the ritual surronding drinking tea enhances the enjoyment. I'm not sure I could enjoy them as much on t.v. or dvd.

Aida was the first opera I ever saw. I was fortunate to find a book that told me all sorts of things about it before I went. Each character has a musical theme. When that person is about to come on stage you can catch his or her theme in the music being played. The book I found even had the music for the theme for each person, so I learned them before I went and felt so smart when I new who was coming on stage! Aida is veyr intricate. Many think it is Verdi's best opera, and one of the best operas ever written.

[quote="joshrp, post:1, topic:253297"]
Hi,

Just wondering if anyone has an interest in opera.

Joshua

[/quote]

Yes. I love it, even if I don't understand it. I love the music, the costumes, the set designs. I'm so grateful to be able to watch these things on TV. I would love to see one live!

Of course I mean the classical stuff, not the modern atonal junk passing itself off as opera. :p

Every year for NYE I like to watch Die Fledermaus in one form or other.

I love opera (though I will confess that Wagnerian sopranos annoy me a little, you know with the typical loud shrillness of their voices) and really wish that it was as popular as it was a century ago, so that opera houses would not be closing down or merging almost everywhere, tickets would be cheaper, and there would be more variety in each season's production.

Yes

I like Opera the web browser, but not as much as Chrome or Firefox ;)

[quote="Theophilus777, post:5, topic:253297"]
I agree with you, but unfortunately when Romeo and Juliet are referenced it's usually the suicide that gets the spotlight. Consider the popular song "Don't Fear the Reaper," in the 70's. "...Romeo and Juliet....we can be like they are...come on baby don't fear the reaper," or worse yet, Death Cab for Cutie's "Into the Dark," which not only portrays suicide as something you do when you love somebody, but blatantly references the Catholic Church "as vicious as Roman Rule." The story itself is probably seriously misrepresented by most modern allusions to it, but how many people read(or understand) Shakespeare? I agree that most likely Shakespeare was not condoning suicide, but I can't say the same for most who quote him.

[/quote]

I think Romeo an Juliette is often very much misinterpreted by modern audiences. The decision to commit suicide by the protagonists (especially Romeo, not knowing that Juliette isn't actually dead) is not 'romanitic' but incredibly foolish and result of their impassioned irrationality. In some ways, the play might be said to be a critique rather than a romanticization. Kind of like Macbeth certainly doesn't condone regicide and all the horrible things the 'hero' Macbeth does, it just shows the characters, often even noble ones like Macbeth, being destroyed by circumstance, fate, and their own decisions.

I do very much like opera though. Especially the music. And ESPECIALLY the music of Wager's opera's. The whole Ring cycle, Lohengrin, Tannhaeuser, all fantastic. I also like Richard Strauss ever since I had the amzing opportunity to see "Der Rosenkavalier" (The Rosebearer) in the opera house of Strauss's hometown, Munich. One of the best experiences of my life.

They can be fun.

My son and I saw the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" this summer. That was quite good.

I also "Tommy" when I was in college. That was awesome!

[quote="lutherlic, post:10, topic:253297"]
I like Opera the web browser, but not as much as Chrome or Firefox ;)

[/quote]

:clapping::rotfl:

[quote="Young_Thinker, post:8, topic:253297"]
I love opera (though I will confess that Wagnerian sopranos annoy me a little, you know with the typical loud shrillness of their voices) and really wish that it was as popular as it was a century ago, so that opera houses would not be closing down or merging almost everywhere, tickets would be cheaper, and there would be more variety in each season's production.

[/quote]

I agree. Operas are too uncommon these days, especially in American cities. And I can't say I disagreee with you about Wagner's sopranos, though he his possibly my favorite composer. There is an album you might be interested in "Wagner without words," which has instrumentals from many of his operas. Though many of the vocals in Wagner are sublime. For example, should I get married someday, I am resolved to hire a choir to sing the wedding march from Lohengrin rather than just having it played on the organ.

[quote="joshrp, post:3, topic:253297"]
The only operas I've really seen are Mozart's The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro and Beethoven's Fidelio. I've never seen any Rock Operas.

I've also seen another opera, but I can't remember what it was called.

The Magic Flute is my very favorite though. I have a DVD of a Glyndebourne performance of it.

[/quote]

Isn't the Magic Flute a bit, well, um, doubtful from a Catholic point of view?

Pa-pa-pa-pa-Papagena! (by the way)

[quote="Raskolnikov, post:11, topic:253297"]
"Der Rosenkavalier" (The Rosebearer) in the opera house of Strauss's hometown, Munich. One of the best experiences of my life.

[/quote]

The final trio/duo sequence is beyond beautiful.

I enjoy a good opera. It was not until my mid twenties that I experienced my first live
performance of an opera. From then on I was hooked!
It is such a highly complex art form, as the singer not only must know how to sing without
music to follow at times, but he/she must be able to act, and sing in several language's other then there native tongue.
It helps to attend an opera at an opera house that has good acoustic's also. The Seattle Opera House is well designed for this, and also the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in L.A offers
exceptional sound quality.

Many opera's are extremely spiritual, and filled with prayer's to God.;)

[quote="Kaninchen, post:16, topic:253297"]
The final trio/duo sequence is beyond beautiful.

[/quote]

Absolutely! A German professor of mine who was with us (I was there with a class) said that historically the actresses have sometimes had trouble managing to finish the Terzett without beginning to cry themselves. I can understand why.

Edit: that same professor, herself a Münchnerin, told us that if any of us were asleep during the presentation of the rose by Octavian we'd get an F in the class; she was right, it was a beautiful segment as well.

I personally can't stand Wagner. I forced myself to listen to his entire Ring Cycle, all 13 hours of it, just to give him a chance. But I think he is horrible. Plus, he really hated Jewish people, and I don't think he is any good for society.

[quote="joshrp, post:19, topic:253297"]
I personally can't stand Wagner. I forced myself to listen to his entire Ring Cycle, all 13 hours of it, just to give him a chance. But I think he is horrible. Plus, he really hated Jewish people, and I don't think he is any good for society.

[/quote]

I love the music of Wagner. I don't see how his anti-Semitism should discourage us from enjoying his music. He was an excellent composer regardless of his unsavory views.

If we threw out every author, musician, or artist in history who subscribed to problematic views, we would have rather fiew left.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.